While each and every episode of Ted Lasso is always guaranteed to provide feel-good laughter, this week’s Christmas special goes above and beyond with warm, wonderful, hilarious festive goodness. Keep reading to find out who was naughty and who was nice in “Carol of the Bells.”
The holiday spirit is alive and well amongst AFC Richmond as the team sits in the locker room exchanging Secret Santa gifts. Meanwhile, Ted, Keeley, Rebecca, Coach Beard, Higgins, and Nate are discussing their Christmas plans. Hold me closer tiny Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen, because Rebecca’s going to Elton John’s party! Higgins invites Ted to come to his place (where any team members without a family to celebrate with are welcome), but Ted declines, because he plans on spending the day on FaceTime with his son Henry.
Cue a wonderfully festive, animated version of the show’s intro!
Keeley is getting the house ready for her and Roy’s “Sexy Christmas” celebration. The doorbell rings and Keeley takes off her robe, strutting to the door in an outfit that’s perhaps a bit more revealing than she intended for the surprise guest standing on the other side — Roy’s niece Phoebe. Roy walks in shortly after. Although babysitting has made Sexy Christmas significantly less sexy, Keeley assures Roy they can do Sexy Boxing Day instead? Nope, busy. Alright, Sexy December 28 it is!
The Higgins family is exchanging gifts when Sam arrives, albeit a bit early, for the AFC Richmond gathering. Meanwhile, Ted is video chatting with Henry, who is excited to learn that his dad purchased him a drone for Christmas. Unfortunately, Henry’s fixation with the new toy means that their all-day FaceTime plans have been cut short.
Phoebe is miserable, and Roy and Keeley are trying to figure out why. After some prodding, they find out that a boy at school was mean to her. He gave her toothpaste and mouthwash for Christmas and told everyone at school that her breath is rancid. Keeley assures her that her breath probably doesn’t smell that bad, and she leans in for a sniff. It’s a decision that she instantly regrets. As Keeley tries not to puke, Roy is up next, and he promises his niece that he’s smelled worse over the past 20 years he’s spent in locker rooms. He struggles to keep a straight face as he reports the results of what he just smelled: “I think you might be dying.” He begins dry heaving.
More members of the team have arrived at the Higgins household with food and drinks. In contrast, Ted sits alone on his couch, solemnly drinking and watching It’s a Wonderful Life. Rebecca interrupts Ted’s lonely Christmas, and she tells him to grab a coat, because he’s coming with her. They stop to listen to a group of buskers singing festive songs.
Roy, Keeley, and Phoebe are walking around the neighborhood, going door-to-door and seeing if anyone is a dentist. Phoebe is embarrassed and upset about the situation, and Roy goes on to tell her about how he pooped his pants on the bus … three weeks ago.
Even more AFC Richmond teammates arrive at the Higgins household; it’s by far the most people they’ve ever had take them up on their Christmas gathering offer. Elsewhere, Rebecca parks at their secret destination and hands Ted a sack full of Christmas presents. We learn that they’re delivering gifts to children, which is something that perks up Ted’s mood right away once he realizes.
It’s begun to get dark outside, and Roy, Keeley, and Phoebe have finally found a dentist. After taking a quick peek and asking a few questions, the dentist is able to surmise that the new antihistamines that Phoebe is taking are the culprit of her terrible breath. The dentist’s family, who’s been sitting at the dining table watching them the entire time, excitedly gets up to take a photo with Roy and Keeley. Afterward, Roy and Keeley are able to find a pharmacist to get Phoebe the medication she needs.
Roy, Keeley, and Phoebe make one more stop before going home — the house of the boy that was bullying Phoebe. Ted Lasso goes full Love, Actually by channeling one of the aforementioned film’s most iconic, memorable moments … “It’s carol singers.” Phoebe delivers a message to the boy with messages written on poster boards, and he apologizes.
Higgins raises a toast to the team. And hey … speaking of carol singers, it looks like Rebecca ditched her plans with Elton John after all, because she, Ted, and the buskers from earlier are standing outside the Higgins household caroling. The family and the team come outside to join them in the street, dancing and singing under a snowy Christmas sky.
The next episode of Ted Lasso will premiere exclusively on Apple TV+ next Friday, August 20. Stay up-to-date with all of our Ted Lasso recaps here.